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What helps you cope with Nightmares and/or flashbacks?

Hi Everyone

I know there are so many of us here who experience these unfortunatly so  I thought id start a thread where we can share our strategies on how we cope with nightmares and flashbacks.


Re: What helps you cope with Nightmares and/or flashbacks?

@EOR @Hamsolo01  Just tagging you both over here as you were interested in this topic too. 


EOR said:

Hi @outlander (stranger), nightmares can cause much distress. I find unprocesses or unresolved events of the day, or last couple a days, sometimes surfaces in dreams, when we're relaxed... seems that's the only time our subconscious can get our attention.
A bedtime ritual often helps me wind down.
- JOURNALLING helps my brain tidy up a messy day. First I summarise in point form what happened today... Then, if anything needs more attention I give it a paragraph or two on it.
- MOVIE... maybe a real good 'feel good' favourite movie could help to calm the mind, distract, evoke nice feelings...
- Fill the mind with good happy, peaceful thoughts.
- BOOK that's captivating
- PRAYER... just tell God everything, and evoke the power of the cross over your life.
- LIFELINE phone call...
Talk it out


Re: What helps you cope with Nightmares and/or flashbacks?

Great thread @outlander 


My experience is it's a lot of trial and error and changes over time. I practice every day, so I have a better chance of remember what helps. I keep my list very brief, as for me it's easier not to have too much choice, otherwise I don't remember.


I have a safety statement. I cuddle my teddy bear. I count different objects I see. I use essential oils. I do breathing exercises. Sometimes for hours. Those are the ones that help me, even after an episode of dissociating or with panic attacks. I can't stop the flashbacks, so I'm trying to learn to live with them.


Re: What helps you cope with Nightmares and/or flashbacks?

It’s a hard process to get out of having flash backs. I often get a flutter from historical episodes and situations coming to mind. I hate reliving that trauma. When I think about the state of mind I was in, my current thoughts suppress the feeling and thought of it all, then I find my self in a present state of thought. Muchly, my current life of work and study takes over priority in thought. However, that minute I am unsettled by the flashback there is a great deal of fear, anxiety and nervous action. This tends to happen several times a day and is just something I live with, unsure how to stop it other than letting my mind divert to its own courses.


Re: What helps you cope with Nightmares and/or flashbacks?

I cuddled a teddy bear too for a number of years when I was about 27 yo constantly going in and out of hospitals. It gave me so much security and it felt like I was not alone. Once I moved back in with my family they bought me a dog. She’s been with me now 10 years and sleeps in my room or on my bed. As long as I hear her breathing I sleep easy. In the night as soon as she leaves the room I usually wake and go outside with her to do business, then it’s back to sleep. I gave my teddy to her and she loved it until it was in bits. Now I buy her soft toys all the time because I know the comfort it brings. She’s getting old now too and I don’t know how long I’ll be lucky enough to have her. She’s the best thing that ever happened. @Aeiou 


Re: What helps you cope with Nightmares and/or flashbacks?

Hi @Aeiou
thanks for sharing what helps you. I agree trial and error is a good way to describe how to find what works for each person.
a list is a good idea too, easy to refer to when your distressed and not thinking very clearly.
your strategies are good too! I use essential oils too, I find lavender to be quite soothing so often have that on hand.

Re: What helps you cope with Nightmares and/or flashbacks?

hi @Access I see your new so would like to welcome you and encourage you to join in where you like as well as starting a thread for yourself so we can follow along with your journey if you've not already done so.
a little forum tip is to put an @ before a members name so they get a notification from you.

flashbacks are really hard to manage sometimes esp without any ideas one what might help. have you got any supports that might help as well?
I do hope some ideas here will be helpful to you.

I often found my studies to be quite helpful too. would you like to share what your studying?

Pets are great too, im glad you have your family dog. she seems to be quite soothing mechanism.

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